Symantec's 'antivirus is dead' assertion draws fire


In a Wall Street Journal report that ran over the weekend, Brian Dye, Symantec's senior vice president for information security was quoted as calling traditional antivirus software "dead", as well as claiming that it isn't considered as a moneymaker "in any way" by the company.

In perspective, the report seeks to highlight the competitive climate that Symantec currently finds itself in, despite having pioneered computer security several decades ago. Indeed, revenue has fallen in each of the past two quarters, culminating in the company firing its CEO--the second time it has done so in two years.

Not everyone agrees however, and Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky has hit back with a strongly worded statement that was emailed to The Inquirer. According to Kaspersky, security is a combination of various technologies that includes heuristics, sandboxing, cloud protection among others, and includes signature-based antivirus detection.

"I've heard antiviruses being declared dead and buried quite a few times over the years, but they're still here with us--alive and kicking," said Kaspersky. "I fully agree that single-layer signature-based virus scanning is nowhere near a sufficient degree of protection--not for individuals, not for organizations large or small; however, that's been the case for many years."

The Fierce Take: I have been covering this topic for a number of years now, and while it is easy to complain about the ineffectiveness of standalone antivirus software, companies are probably not ready to retire antivirus software entirely. As I wrote early last year, a more viable solution against the threat of custom or zero-day malware could be one that is based on both definition and whitelisting technologies.

For more:
- check out this article at The Inquirer

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